New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 3, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Air Quality Health Alert Day
■ Reduce emissions by carpooling and avoiding unnecessary driving today.
■ New Braunfels Utilities customers with addresses ending in 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 can water today before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Well users cannot water today. For information, call 608-8925
Vol. 149, No. 219 44 pages in 4 sections September 3, 2000
Serving Comal County since 1N52
► Fair guide
The 107th Comal County County Fair kicks off later this month with tractor pulls, a baby barnyard, fair exhibits and much, much more./ INSIDE
► Wildcats run
New Braunfels Christian Academy dipped into unfamiliar waters in 2000 with its first football team./1B
► Night owls
Next time you go to pick up your coffee and rolls at the local doughnut shop, say an extra Thank you” to the person behind the counter./l C
Atlantic storm remains small
MIAMI (AP) Tropical Storm Ernesto, the fifth named storm of the 2000 hurricane season, formed early Saturday deep in the Atlantic Ocean but posed no immediate threat to land, a meteorologist said.
Ernesto's top sustained winds were near 40 mph Saturday, and its tropical storm force w inds extended 115 miles from its center. The storm was about OOO miles east of the Leeward Islands, about 1,800 miles southeast of Florida, and moving northwest at about 15 mph.
Blake said Ernesto was expected to remain over open ocean at least through Monday.
Key code 77
Bulverde blaze kills pets
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
BULVERDE — A Bulverde family’s pets died in a fire that also destroyed their home Saturday.
A neighbor reported the fire about 3 p.m. Saturday, said Darren Brinkkoeter, Comal County assistant fire marshal. When firefighters arrived, they found the mobile home at 92 Sun Valley engulfed in flames.
“They were here pretty quickly,” Brinkkoeter said, as firefighters behind him continued to douse the mobile home with water.
Homeowners Rodney and Sharon Willmann were not at home when the fire started, Brinkkoeter said. However, their two dogs were in a fence behind the mobile home. The dogs died in the fire.
“There was no way for them
to escape,” Brinkkoeter said.
The blaze started a grass fire in a half-acre area behind the mobile home. The fire threatened to spread to three houses nearby, Brinkkoeter said.
He praised firefighters for their successful efforts to stop the grass fire before it jumped to the houses.
The cause of the fire w as still under investigation Saturday afternoon.
Petition kicks off
Booze ban supporters collect signatures for referendum
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
The Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department led efforts to control the fire. Several other area fire departments assisted.
4A board wants
city to help fund dispatch system
K. JESSIE SLATEN ‘eraid-Znitung
Kathleen Krueger read a prepared statement for Citizens United to Save Our Rivers eahy Saturday morning at the plaza gazebo. Krueger and Robert Kendrick both spoke passionatley about the need to clean up the cities rivers by banning alcohol on the rivers.
By Jo Lee Ferguson
New Braunfels’ Main Plaza became a stomping ground Saturday for opposing views on a proposed alcohol ban on local rivers.
New Braunfels resident Kathleen Krueger, wife of former senator and ambassador Bob Krueger, stood in the bandstand, surrounded by about 30 others who want voters to decide whether a river alcohol ban should be implemented.
As Krueger and other “Citizens United to Save Our Rivers” kicked-off their petition drive to put the issue on the November ballot, motorists driving in the traffic circle took the opportunity to voice their opinions.
Some honked in support, but not everyone agreed with the activists who were working in the heat to obtain 2,000 signatures. Krueger’s group must submit the signatures to the city secretary by Tuesday afternoon.
“Its not the beer that’s the problem,” one passing motorist shouted. “Its the
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
The board overseeing some of the city’s sales tax revenues doesn not want to pick up the whole tab for a new public safety communications system.
However, board members might be asked to reconsider.
On Thursday, New Braunfels Infrastructure Improvement Corp. voted to recommend that city council pay for half of the city’s $700,000 radio system with sales tax revenues.
“I’m very surprised that they didn't fund it,” Mayor Stoney Williams said.
Williams said the council should send the recommendation back to the board for additional consideration.
The board recommends how the city spends a one-quarter of I percent of its sales tax. The tax is commonly referred to as the 4B tax, after the legislation that allowed the city to collect the tax.
The money is divided for specific types of projects. One-eighth of I percent goes toward improvement projects, and the remaining one-eighth of I percent goes to street and drainage projects.
Earlier this year voters rejected all but one of seven bond propositions in a $32.7 million bond election. Voters approved a $700,000 proposition for the emergency communications system.
However, council decided it did not make sense to issue bonds for just that amount of money. City staff' said going into debt to buy the system would cost tw ice as much in the long run.
Council instructed city staff' to approach the infrastructure corporation for funding through the sales tax for improvement projects.
New Braunfels Chief Financial Officer Chet Lew is explained to the board that council thought the communications system fit into the purpose of the sales tax for improvement projects.
“(The council) obviously felt this expenditure fit the character of 4B,” Lew is said Friday.
Lewis told the board members the city had $919,586 of unallocated revenues on the improvement side of the sales tax. Board member David Stinchcomb said the voters approved See CITY/5 A
Watch P&Z on TV
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Francisco Siles of Dallas ends his Comal River trip early Saturday afternoon at the last public exit The Guadalupe River was extremely quiet Saturday.
From staff reports
Members of the New Braunfels Planning and Zon-ing Commission will become the city’s newest television stars this week.
The commission’s 6:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday will be televised live on the city’s local government channel, (channel 16 or channel 21).
Council decided to televise the planning commission and zoning board meet
ings earlier this year. The zoning board meets on the fourth Thursday of each month.
Don Ferguson, assistant to the city manager, tapes council meetings and also will tape the planning commission and zoning board of adjustment meetings.
The meetings also will be replayed on the city’s access channel, but those dates have not yet been determined, Ferguson said.
State proposes alternative to families roadside crosses
From staff and wire reports
DALLAS - State transportation officials have drafted a proposal that could resolve a roadside battle over state-sanctioned memorials for drunk-driving victims and makeshift crosses put up by family members to remember loved ones.
Under the Texas Department of Transportation's proposal, families would submit an application
for a memorial sign and pay a $100 fee. Plans for the memorials, which would include both drunk driving and other fatalities, are rectangular signs w itll white letters on a blue background. The signs would read "In memory of" and include the person's name and date of death.
Crosses are being avoided to keep separation of church and state, Richard Kirby, director of
maintenance operations for the transportation department, told The Dallas Morning News in Saturday's editions.
“From our standpoint, it's not, in a way, a memorial program for that individual, although it is certainly for the family," Kirby said. "Our intent is that it is a reminder to drive safety."
The proposal could placate Tyler-area residents who have
been angered after removal notices began appearing on makeshift memorials in April. TxDOT officials temporarily suspended the removals in May to review the policy.
The families of Shelby Farnsworth and Fernando Diaz had to remove a memorial in front of New Braunfels High School after TxDOT off icials said it did not comply w itll state policy.
The two students were killed in a collision in front of the school iii October 1999. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
Agency officials had said roadside memorials are not permitted because of a state program to highlight traffic deaths that are caused by alcohol. TxDOT only allows properly constructed memorials approved by the state.
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